Inevitability about Whitecaps loss in LAAugust 25, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized, Whitecaps season 2014 | 1 Comment
Tags: Gerson Koffie, Landon Donovan, Matias Laba, Mauro Rosales
There was a feeling of sad inevitability abut the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 loss against the Los Angeles Galaxy. It was rather like watching one of those little Spanish teams travel to Barcelona or Real Madrid. The players all knew what the result would be, but had to go through the motions in any event.
To be fair, it could have been different on another night. The heart of the Whitecaps team, its young and brilliant defensive midfield pairing of the Gershon Koffie and Matias Laba, was missing. The former was injured and the latter was suspended for accumulating too many yellow cards. Russell Teibert and Mehdi Ballouchy replaced Koffie and Laba on the team sheet but came nowhere near to replacing them in terms of quality.
By the time the Whitecaps had adjusted to their new midfield, it was too late and the Whitecaps were down 2-0. On both goals the Whitecaps were caught defending very deeply and succumbed to close range shots from Landon Donovan in the 4th minute and Marcelo Sarvas in the 32nd.
On both goals the Whitecaps looked like practice pylons, however, and again, Laba’s pesky midfield tackling was noticeably absent. It was somewhat horrifying to see Landon Donovan, perhaps the most famous of any player in Major League Soccer, completely unrecognized at the far post by the Whitecaps defence. He scored a goal in the 4th minute completely unmarked and then had another similar chance to score soon after. The Whitecaps seemed to forget how to defend, which is a surprise after so many recent clean sheets.
The second half saw Seb Fernandez taken off for the Whitecaps new star Mauro Rosales at half time. Rosales showed his superb touch and passing ability right from the start and added a whole new dimension to the Whitecaps with his play on the right side of Pedro Morales. Sadly Morales was in poor form in this match, giving up possession of the ball time and time again.
Kekuta Manneh showed some hope that he was getting out of his recent slump. He started the match and, in the second half, went on a long swashbuckling run which ended with a somewhat weak shot that LA’s Penedo stopped comfortably.
Manneh was taken off late for none other than the giant Costa Rican centre back Waston, who surprisingly had his first game on the pitch for the Whitecaps as a striker. Waston knitted together the best passing play of the match for Vancouver when he did a nifty give and go with Darren Mattocks, whose low shot under pressure brought another good save from Penedo, who is becoming one of MLS’s better goalkeepers.
The match ended with Johnny Leveron being sent off for tackling Alan Gordon from behind. It was a typically bad call from an MLS match official. It was a a soft yellow at best, and was nowhere near a straight red card. Lets hope the Whitecaps work to get the red overturned.
The addition of Rosales and Waston to the pitch signalled a shake-up by coach Robinson who knows if he does not make some dramatic and positive changes to the team, all playoff ambitions will surely be dashed.
The loss left the Whitecaps seven points out of the top four in the Western Conference with Portland and Colorado both within 3 points behind them.
From the looks of this match we need Koffie to get better soon. It looks like there will be a lot of pressure on one of the finest footballers ever to don a Vancouver Whitecaps jersey, Mauro Rosales, to turn the stagnant Whitecaps around.